Pacemaker technology has come a long way since its first implantation in 1958. Given that the pacemaker market has been around for over 60 years, this space can be referred to as a “mature market”.
According to GlobalData, almost 1.5 million people around the world received a pacemaker in 2022. GlobalData forecasts that the annual volume of pacemakers sold will reach 2.5 million pacemakers by 2033, with a mere compound annual growth rate of less than 5%. Despite the pacemaker market’s maturity, this has not deterred major companies from innovating and expanding their pacemaker portfolio.
Over the years, major companies have enhanced their pacemaker technology by making smaller pacing devices, improving pacing technology, and implementing wireless communication. For example, in 2016, Medtronic received FDA approval for their Micra product line—the world’s smallest and first leadless pacemakers.
Smaller devices allow physicians to easily implant these pacemakers through minimally invasive procedures, thus reducing the risk of complications. Additionally, leadless pacemakers eliminate any adverse effects associated with leads—these include pocket infections, lead dislodgement, haematoma, and lead fracture.
While Medtronic has focused on reducing the size of their pacemakers, Abbott Laboratories and Biotronik diverted to primarily improving their pacing technology. Abbott Laboratories’ Aveir DR is on its way to becoming the world’s first dual-chamber leadless pacemaker. Comparatively, Biotronik received CE approval last month for their Amvia Sky and Edge —the world’s first pacemakers for left bundle branch pacing.
Pacemakers were originally designed to stimulate only one chamber – in particular, the right ventricle. However, by stimulating other regions besides the right ventricle, as well as multiple chambers, this provides a more natural heart rhythm and improves blood flow.
In conclusion, despite the maturity of the pacemaker market, companies have found ways to enhance pacemaker technology. With these recent advancements, pacemakers continue to improve the lives of those suffering from heart-pacing problems.